School Bookkeeper Arrested for Embezzling Nearly $20k for Groceries, Gas and Cigarettes

Mr Impact Broward County
School Bookkeeper Arrested for Embezzling Nearly $20k for Groceries, Gas and Cigarettes

Dina Newland {BSO}

By Sharon Aron Baron

A school bookkeeper was arrested for stealing over $19,000 from Margate Elementary School, using it for groceries, gas, and cigarettes.

On December 7, Dina Newland, 54, of Coral Springs, was accused of grand theft and fraud following an internal investigation by the Broward District Schools Police. According to court records, the investigation was prompted by the discovery of a negative balance in the school’s Wells Fargo Bank account.

Newland, an 18-year employee of the school, had access to all financial amenities at Margate Elementary and had established a relationship of trust with school employees.

An in-depth audit by the Broward Schools Chief Auditors revealed that a total of $19,986.10 was missing from the 2021-2022 school year. These funds were all in cash from payments associated with Scholastic Book Fairs and Monies Collection Envelopes (MCEs) for school events. 

The audit found inconsistencies in the collection of cash funds and missing entries in the accounting system used to catalog the school’s deposits. 

Police provided sworn statements from school employees who interacted with Newland regarding the submissions of the MCEs. When employees began turning in funds to Newland, she would advise that she was busy at the moment and would have school employees leave the envelopes in her possession.

The collected monies would never be counted together with a school employee in accordance with school policy.

Newland was interviewed by detectives and admitted to taking the funds for personal use with the intent to pay them back. She also admitted to violating school board money collection policies, according to court documents.

She was subsequently arrested, facing charges of grand theft and fraud,  and was released on a $3,500 bond.

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Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron
Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs and the rest of South Florida.